Microsoft may have Google-envy, but maybe the grass isn't greener on the other side of the fence. It seems that an email has been making the rounds at Microsoft, from an employee that used to work at Google, comparing the two... and Google doesn't come out on top. I've always admired Google's stated policy of spending 20% of your time on personal projects. But they might be overstating how committed they are to that principal... Here's a sample from the email:
20% of your time on personal project. How many people actually get to use it? If so, how do they use it? Does Google own your personal project?
“20% is your benefit and your responsibility.”
In other words, it’s your job to carve out 20% of your work week for a project. If you don’t carve out the time, you don’t get it. Your project needs to be tacitly approved by your manager. Whatever it is, is owned by Google. If you’re organized, you can “save up” your 20% and use it all at once. It’s not unheard of for people to have months and months of “20% time” saved up.
Most people don’t actually have a 20% project. Most managers won’t remind you to start one
If this is true, it certainly changes my perspective. That policy was something that elevated Google in my eyes. Granted, this is coming from a Microsoft email, but it makes you think twice...
Link via Threadwatch.